Happy Monday!!! Today I want to share with you how we updated our kitchen in just two weekends, using removable wallpaper and open shelving. When we moved in we knew that we’d want to do some work on our kitchen eventually, but it’s not quite in the budget for us to do a whole overhaul right now (counters, backsplash, cabinets, appliances, etc). So we decided to make an update that has a lot of impact, but didn’t take very long or cost very much. This will hold us over until we have a whole kitchen renovation in the budget… it seriously makes the kitchen a much brighter, happier place to work!
Below I’ve included a couple before/after shots side by side (CRAZY, RIGHT?!), followed by some process shots and how-to ramblings… so if you aren’t interested in that kind of stuff, scroll down for ALL the beautiful after photos!
Before & After
Here’s a view looking into the kitchen from our dining room. When we bought the house there was a cabinet hanging down over the peninsula that we tore out right away—for obvious reasons!
And then in this view you can see the whole wall better. The before photo here was after we tore down the overhanging cabinet.
Step One: Demolition
Take down the cabinets! We had a couple friends come over to help out, but besides needing some more brawn, this was a pretty simple step. After removing the trim and shelves from the cabinets, we unscrewed and applied force when necessary to take the cabinets down. Brian also did some electrical work with the light above the sink prior to taking the cabinets down.
Step Two: Repair & Prime
Spackle and sand any holes, clean any mold or residue, and prime! As you may have noticed in the previous photo, we actually had a couple mold spots on our ceiling under the cabinets. It revealed a larger problem of lack of insulation up there, so Brian put some insulation in the attic above the spot, then we cleaned everything up and applied a couple coats of Kilz primer to the wall and ceiling, then applied a coat of ceiling paint.
Step Three: Apply Wallpaper
We chose to go with a removable peel-n-stick wallpaper for our wall, both to add interest, and to hide any imperfections in the wall. The gold speckled wallpaper is from Target and we ended up going with two rolls. We have lots leftover, but because of needing to match up the pattern, you’ll need more than you think. This stuff goes on like a giant sticker and can be repositioned quite a bit (trust us!). We followed the instructions on the package and are super happy with the results!
Step Four: Install Shelving
Lastly, we installed our shelves! We bought simple black L brackets and white shelves from Home Depot… we were really trying to do this project on a tight budget! But I also like the simplicity in the shelving we picked out since it really lets the wallpaper and dishes shine. As you can see in the above photo, we installed our first shelf directly above our backsplash, so we just drilled it in with long screws. On the drywall, we used toggle bolts to secure our shelves (don’t want our dishes crashing to the ground in the middle of the night!).
Introducing Our Bright & Spacious Kitchen
Alright, so now on to the good stuff! 😉 Here’s what our kitchen looks like now!
On the longer shelves to the right of our sink are our everyday plates and bowls, along with some serving bowls, favorite recipe books, and other decor. I love leaning cutting and serving boards up against the backsplash since they don’t take much space, but add a little something to the counter. The Kitchenaid we received as a wedding present sits at the ready, in hopes that it will entice me to bake and cook more! 🙂
We installed this new faucet a month or two ago, and it’s one of my favorite upgrades we’ve made to the house. If you look at the before photos above you can see the old faucet was short and, well, old! This tall one makes dish-washing and pot-filling so much easier, and we love having the sprayer attached to the head of the faucet.
Here’s the other side of the kitchen—still filled with lots of wood cabinets… for now! 😉
On the shelves to the left of the sink are our glasses. We opted for two shelves instead of three on this side to give a bit more breathing room, and allow space for some artwork. I like that the two sides aren’t exactly identical.
I am obsessed with Mrs. Meyer’s soap, and my current favorite is “Iowa Pine!” It straight up smells like a Christmas tree and makes me so happy every time I wash my hands! The little dishes scrubbers are from Grove Co. and I love how I can keep them out since they’re so cute!
And here’s the whole view again! I’m really loving the drastic improvement, and although it did take some time, I feel like it was relatively easy for how big of a change it brought to the space. Thanks so much for taking the time to read! It’s so fun to get to share our adventure in homeownership with you. Would you ever consider tearing down some cabinets in favor of open shelving?
If you love the style of this space and feel like you want to discover your own style, check out my guidebook, How to Discover Your Style & Create a Cohesive Home.
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